Salieri's Les Danaides to be performed in the Great hall

The Opera Project is to stage a production of Salieri's opera Les Danaides in the University's Great Hall on 11 and 12 March.

Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) enjoyed his first operatic success Armide in 1771, which was written under the influence of his patron Gluck, and in 1774 was appointed conductor of the Italian opera in Vienna. Over the following years Gluck passed on a number of commissions to his protégé, including L'Europa riconosciuta for the opening of the La Scala theatre in Milan in 1778. In 1783 Gluck again turned to Salieri (pictured) to take over a commission he could not complete; this was for the Paris Opera. The resulting opera, Les Danaïdes, was originally staged as if it were by Gluck but on the day of the first performance the older composer declared that the whole of the music was by Salieri. Les Danaïdes was a triumphant success.

The bloodthirsty story concerns King Danaus' plan to marry his 50 daughters to the 50 sons of his enemy, then to have them kill their husbands on the wedding night. The plot is foiled, however, by the love of Danaus' daughter Hypermnestra for her intended husband Lynceus, and the opera ends with the other Danaïdes in hell, atoning for their crimes.

Tickets are available from the Concerts Box Office website.

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